Playing in a cover band on the weekends, I understand the need to have a diverse arsenal of guitar tones. We have a choice: either buy hundreds of dollars worth of effects pedals and a collection of amps to get that tonal variety, or (for a fraction of the price), get one multi-effects processor with all the pedals and amp sounds built-in. For me, the Line 6 Pod HD500X was an obvious choice. It can emulate Bogners, Mesa/Boogies, Fenders, and the list goes on. Plus I can record easily via USB. It works as my "Swiss Army knife," as well as giving me my tone junkie "fix.
Line6 POD HD500X
Requires printing and reading the 119 page manual to use while watching the Line6 U-Tube videos that explain the product. There are a number of videos so it is a process of learning something new every time I use it. The pre-sets are great and you can create everything imaginable. It is so convenient to have everything you need in one box. Still working out how to get the microphone effects, but that's the beauty of learning something new everyday. Wife bought it for me for Christmas so I have only had a about 10+ hours in to shortening my learning curve on the product. The digital screen is easy to read and understand. So it is a case of explore and I like to keep notes for songs I'm writing or tunes we play so I know what I have used to get a particular set up. So nice not to have a bunch of boxes. While I do have 6 individual boxes for jamming, I only use them occasionally. 50 years of playing and it takes you to greater levels. Its choice if you have the means get one.
Love it! Can't beat Line 6
This Pod HD500X is so much fun! It takes some getting used to, but it has so many uses. I'm blown away with the sounds I can get using this with my acoustic guitars too. Usually you are pretty limited with the number of pedals and effects that works well with them. Your imagination seems to be the only limit to the tweaks you can make to get the sounds you want with these. I should have got one of these a long time ago!
Line 6 Pod HD500X
This Multi-effects processor has more capabilities than I will ever use. I am still exploring it's capabilities. I like creating my own sounds and the HD500X has not disappointed me. I especially like the fact that I can easily tweak my tones on the fly. It took me a couple of days to get use to how to program it but once you get the basic functions down it gets a lot easier. This was an excellent buy and I highly recommend this product.
Best bang for buck
I own this, and an ME-80.....This beats the ME-80 provided you're not using an all Roland setup, it sounds it's best when run through a DT-25 or other Tube amp, and patching can take hours...but it's well...WELL worth it!
Insanely insane and super easy
I was a bit nervous about the usability because I've never been big on digital interfaces but after about 30min I was making new patches and tweeking presets. This thing is a monster and the tones you can get in just minutes with crazy effects and assignable controls is just outstanding. I was up until like 2am fiddling with it and still can't get enough. I could not be happier. Metal mans dirty dream \m/
Great device - take the time to set it up!!!
I've been playing for decades and for the most part used stomp boxes for effects. Started using modeling amps about 8 years ago, and liked them, but found them to be somewhat limited. After trying a few effects processors and doing some research, I bought the Pod HD500X. At first I wasn't too impressed, but the more I use it, the more I like it. I don't know any other processor with the flexibility that this has! It has great tone, but you must take some time to play with the settings and there are hundreds of them. If you're looking for something that you can plug and play, this may work for you, but to get the most out of it you need to put some time into it. I use it in all kinds of situations: in small clubs and church, I run DI, in other venues I'll run it into a power amp and speakers. I use it for anything from country to hard rock. It'll perform anywhere you do!
Line 6 POD HD500X
So first of all, I am a processor guy. I have used many different types of guitar processors, modulating amps, rack mount, floor mount, you name it. If there is one thing that EVERYONE needs to have when working with one of these units is patience. My first impression of the HD500X was WOW....there's a lot to learn here. So like probably most everyone else, I start turning knobs and pushing buttons to get familiar with it and then after about a week, I hate it, don't like the amps settings, sounds and I wanna return it. One of the things I love about Line 6 is the community forums. I found people who had taken their time with it and were willing to help with everything from hook-up to patch tones. The Line 6 website also has "Customtones" where you can download someone else's patch and tweak it to your liking or just use their patch. There are literally hundreds of free downloads available in the "Customtones" area of the website.
Now that I have had the POD HD500X for about a month now, I absolutely love it. I run a (what my band mates call the Robot Rig) Peavey 6505+, TC Electronics G System, Pitchblack tuner, Furman Power Conditioner and ISP Decimator Pro Rack through a Marshall 4-12 Cabinet loaded with Vintage 30s all mounted inside flight cases. I wanted that POD HD500X to replicate my rigs sound that I didn't have to cart the "robot rig" to smaller venues where I have had no room to a 4-12 cabinet.
All I can say is WOW!!! I have dialed in a tone that is very, very comparable to the 6505+. My cleans are much more cleaner and I am not having to change the channels on the 6505+ and the G System. I am now running my POD HD500X through an ISP Stealth Power Amp and a Peavey 2-12 cabinet. It is AMAZING the amount of time it takes me to get ready on stage and to get everything off stage. Extremely impressed with this unit and its versatility, sound, construction and ease of set up.
I will admit....If you are a metal guy like me, you will definitely want to purchase the Metal HD pack from Line 6. The "metal amps" that are included in the standard pack are.....OK with some tweaking, but the ones found in the Metal HD pack are worth the $50. All of my tones I use with my band have been used with the Metal HD pack.
More like HD500XXXXXXL!!!
To use texting terms: OMG, WOW, :)))!!! This pedal blows all others out of the water! I have tested many floor processors and rack mounts. None have sounded nearly as good as the POD HD500X. I play everything from blues to neoclassical shred metal, and this gets all the tones I could ever want or need. All my guitars sound great through it, but my Variax can use all of the features of the POD. Not only can I control the amp models and settings, but I can also specify a guitar model to be used with any specific patch. When playing BB King, I use the semi-hollow body model with a blues tone. Then I can go right to Deep Purple or Pink Floyd by simply tapping a switch. This changes the BB King guitar to the Strat model and the associated amp tone. It's like changing out my entire rig out by taping on a single footswitch. The only more versatile guitar would be one that can be used as a synth controller.
The controls seem complicated at first, but are deceptively easy to use once you get the process. Setting up each effect or tone is as simple or complex as you want to make it. You can edit just about every possible aspect of each setting on each model, modulation effect, and cabinet. The preset selection of effects is extensive and comprehensive. The screen is easy to read with 3 viewing options. The expression pedal is solid and should last years. Footswitches are also rugged and I love the circumference illumination. You always know what settings are active with a glance.
Overall, this is a supreme processor that can get you just about any sound you can hear in your head. It is tough, well-built, and surprisingly easy to use. You also get free software to download that allows simple and deep editing of any parameter and saving of endless tones for later use. There is a massive and comprehensive library online to help you fine the tones you want and love. With or without a Variax, this is a 100% winner and champion
Bob Mondok was very helpful as usual and helped make sure this was the right decision. He was correct as usual. Sweet water is the only place to get gear as far as I am concerned!
Get this you won't be sorry
First my sales rep Paul Rowan is great and all the staff that I've dealt with over the years are amazing. Other companies might have initial lower product price but this is without the Sweetwater warranty and their tech support, so you buy the other companies warranty and it ends up being more than any other company. So as far as who I literally depend on is Paul and Sweetwater.
Now for the review, right out of the box I played for 2 hours and discovered new tones on my ESP strat style with a factory bridge humbucker a single coil in the middle and hot rails in the neck position. I've always been a line 6 fan and this has made me a even bigger fan. I had to sell all my gear due to fighting leukemia and after a lot of research I decided on getting the dream rig. So this is the first piece of the puzzle using the great three payment plan from Sweetwater.
The manual reads a bit techy at first but I recommend reading and using the manual with the processor at the same time. There is also software and a deep editing manual that is free through line 6. Editing is much easier using a laptop than the manual. Only two complaints no on and off switch and the layout of the manual other line 6 manuals have been easier reads.
So if you compare this to other processors especially other Line 6 products except the Helix which one is not in my budget there really is no comparison. More effects, longer looping, dsp processor, controlling the DT amps and the dynamics are amazing. Dynamics as in you roll your volume down it responds you play a humbucker or a single coil it responds. It makes your guitar sound better and brings out the natural tone.
Even if your a pedal guy which I'm also a pedal guy make this investment you won't be sorry.
LINE 6 POD HD500X
I loved my new gear and has a lot of function to play along. This is the coolest gear I've ever had and I am satisfied with I am paying for. Even though I liked the Helix which is more money than the hd500x, this is the best gift for myself.
I've had the original HD500 when it first came out and loved it but this one is so much better for me. I can make this thing sound amazing. I bought the L2T speaker to go with it and it sounds great.
This product supplies everything advertised and more. I play in a pop band that plays a wide variety of music and this gives me all the tools I need to create any guitar sound. The effects sound amazing through my Princeton Reverb and the amp models allow me to arrive at a gig with only my guitar and POD HD500X and sound amazing with minimal setup. Tuner, looper, effects, and amps all built in make it a one-stop shop. I like that I have the flexibility to use multiple instances of the same effect (stacked delays or distortions, etc.) without any extra effort or expense. My favourite feature is probably the cord lock that prevents the power cord being pulled out if pulled or tripped on. I would definitely replace it if lost or stolen. The menus have a small learning curve to them, but a few hours of messing around and occasionally referencing the manual will teach you all you need to adjust or create your sound on the fly. I recommend purchasing the expression pedal for full implementation of all features. There is a very expensive one (Mission Engineering: ~$130) that looks gorgeous and I'm sure is much higher quality, but I purchased the cheaper Line 6 version (~$50) and I have had no complaints.
If you love to explore the sounds you can make with your guitar as much as I do then look no further!..the pod hd500x will blow your mind!
OMG!!!...what can I say?!...simply put...if your any kind of musician you want this tool...period!
The Absolute Perfect Amp Modeler and More
I can't begin to tell you how blown away by this thing I am. The more I play with it and dive into the features I You've already read about the incredible amp models and effects, and I agree, but I won't bore you by going on about those. It sounds incredible, but what puts it completely over the top for me are the lesser-touted features like:
- a second input - I can plug in a bass AT THE SAME TIME and set up patches for both and save a DI or needless cable juggling
- USB port, it's already its own recording interface, plus patch editing is much easier with the free editor / librarian software
- MIDI in, I could have my DAW switch patches and automate effects for me on the fly in a live situation
- MIDI out, I can set up a blank patch and set the footswitches to output patch changes so I can use the HD500X to control Guitar Rig 5 on my PC (NI doesn't make a native GR controller anymore)
- add-on expression pedal (do yourself a favor and get the official Line 6 pedal by Mission Engineering), that you can assign to almost any FX parameter, e.g. I can control the delay feedback and at key points in the song push it to the limit and create this massive swirling chaos the pull it back down, all just using my foot
- set lists, so I can curate lists of patches I need in order for a particular gig, keeping my patches in the order I like
- EXPANDABLE. Holy crap this. You can buy additional amp model packs on the Line 6 site.
Seriously. You won't ever need another guitar processor again. This thing does freakin' everything.
The POD HD500X is an item I had been looking at for quite a long time. I finally made the purchase and am so blown away at the quality! It's built like a tank. There are so many options it could take me forever to tweak each setting, but I chose to simply download a patch, and within 5 minutes I had the multistage overdrive, three killer delays and two reverbs. I use it primarily for worship, so our sound team is ecstatic that they can finally stop micing my amp!
This is also working great to hook up to my headphones and I can practice and jam out while not bothering anyone around me and keeping that tone.
The simplicity and clutter free stage is so much nicer than cables and cords running everywhere.
Great solution for my studio.
Fantastic tool for the studio. I use this and a GT100 and they both do a wonderful job in the studio. No need for a room full of amps. Great sound for our hard rock band.
If you play electric, you need this! Select your amp model (our use your own amp), select the effects you want (or experiment), plug in your ear phones and practice without bothering anyone. My wife loves it too. It is amazing how each effect can be configured just like the actual stomp box. Amp models can be setup as if you were hands on the actual amp and the sound is incredible. If you run the output to powered speakers, this is definitely a performance or recording quality device. I love it!!
i have owned the pod hd's three different times since they were introduced. i spent months after each purchase dialing in tones and in the end, was not at all impressed.
i decided to try again. this time i am blown away. not because the 500x is any better than the 500's, but because i am running it into a tube power amp and guitar cab.
this makes all the difference.
the tones and feel are GREAT run this way.
when connected to frfr, same old sounds, unacceptable to me.
sweetwater service is outstanding as always.
I wasn't expecting HD500X to be this good. I really like how realistic the amp models sound. plenty of effects, hundreds of user setups. You can get almost any sound you want with this processor. Truck loads of equipment in one box. Very sturdy I know this will last me for years to come. I love it. I am glad I chose it over GT-100. I thank Phil Shwan for helping me with my decision, super nice guy.
i really had a great sound on my X3 live and was first afraid that I would not be able to reproduce my tone. This HD500X went way past my expectations. I am also an audio engineer so I programmed it on my flat monitors and treated the programing as if I were editing, EQ, tone and build a guitar track. When I play live I go direct. I set the house guitar channel flat and I am in the pocket. I do have a problem . I can not stop tweaking this thing. Their are so many incredible sounds and ways to adjust. You will see what I am talking about when you purchase this processor. I have had all of the POD series since 2.0. Every time I think that it can not get better, Line 6 really gets it right. Their is no need to go back to an amp and peddles ever again in life.
Good as a Ax-FX II
I have not been one to ever use anything outside of analog pedals and all valve amplifiers. I play blues, classic rock and some prog rock. I never thought I would be so impressed by a mulit-effects board for the style and warmth I need in my playing. Whether playing live through my Joe Satriani Marshall, stright into a console or just using it in my bedroom with headphones on; this Line 6 HD500X does it all. It took me a few hours to finally get ahold of all the functions but now I use this every time I play. I used a Fractle Audio Ax-Fx II a year ago at a trade show and the Line 6 is just as good if not better. Also a Fractle Ax-Fx II costs over $4000. Yikes!! This is the best investment I have made in my gear purchases by far. The versitility of this is simply amazing. Rock, country, gospel, metal, country. Guitar or bass. This is a brillient piece of hardware. Solid state electronics have come a long way and are only getting better.
No more lugging my heavy amps.
I am a touring musician. I have a Mesa Boogie Mark V, bunch of stomp boxes and lots of cables. I probably have more cables than stomp boxes in my set-up.
I also use silent sister iso cab to minimize stage volume. Our band plays in schools, usually in a very small auditorium. So, controlling the stage volume is really a big deal. We play a wide variety of music, from jazz to metal and anything in between. And so I thought the Mark V was perfect for that. It was amazing with only one problem, they are HEAVY!
We play in different schools couple times a week. Sometimes, couple times in one day. And most of the time, we dont have much time in between gigs to unload the van, set up, play an hour set, tear down, load it back on the van, drive to the next venue and do it again. With my rig, It takes me at least 20 minutes to set up all my crap, just couple of seconds ahead of the drummer.
I bought the HD500x because I am exhausted. I've read the reviews so I decided to jump on it. I was hesitating at first because most, if not all of the videos I watched on youtube was bedroom or recording musicians. Not a whole lot of live situations.
But anyhow, we had our Christmas Concert this weekend. It was held in McMahon Memorial Auditorium in Lawton, OK. It was a big stage but we had a full brass orchestra going on so there's not a whole lot of room. But that's not a problem for me anymore because I didn't bring any amp. Set up was less than 5 minutes, less clutter, I used one cable, and that was the xlr going to the board.
It sounded AWESOME! After the show, I had a lot of compliments from the audience and my bandmates. My bass player told me I sounded the same as if I was playing on the Mark V.
The HD500x looks and feels like it's built to last. I have it on my pedaltrain pro with hard case, it fits nicely with the line 6 wireless relay.
All in all, this is a great purchase. I thought about buying the Axe FX but which gigging musician has the money for that? I sounded the same from Mark V to HD500x. I would probably sound the same If I play on an Axe FX.
Incredible Unit, Incredible versitality!
I purchased this as I got a chance to try a friend of mine's HD500. It sounded pretty good, so I pulled the trigger, and now am very happy I did. One thing I discovered that is not well documented or highlighted, is that if you are diligent, you can run this unit as two separate mono effects by placing each channel's effects in the parallel branches (check out the manual to see what I am talking about) and route the signals out left and right, by panning the mixer hard left and right. I play a tapping instrument where the low 4 strings have a different output than the upper four strings. so I can run a fliptop amp on the bass side and a blackface on the treble side, and also mix volume levels accordingly.
Another thing is that you can use this as a midi controller, and use effects! I use the expression pedal to control my synth mod wheel, and also the volume of my tapper. So that as I increase the mod wheel and the resulting crazyness via the expression pedal, I also can raise the volume of my instrument to compensate. Amazing! I have also program the footswitches to play certain notes on my ipad synths and with the mod wheel, it gets really fun...
I have compared the quality of tones against the high end mega pedals and rack mount gear, and the HD500X is right up there. My only complaint is the lack of individual effect documentation. The unit even has a Vocoder effect that can take a mic input, but I have not been able to figure it out, I can't find any documentation. Weird.
I'm giving this 5 stars as every day I am pulling more rabbits out of it's hat, and very high quality rabbits too...!
SETUP / SETUP / SETUP
This is an Amazing unit, even for the money. If I can hint you to overall success it would be to tell you to GO THROUGH THE SETUP FIRST. This thing comes setup for recording direct. If you use it like a Stomp Box straight in the Input of a guitar amp, or if you use it into the Power Amp In, you must set it up to get it to sound right. One thing I'm sure that is overlooked is the Input Impedance selection. This will make all the difference in the overall "feel" as well as sound. I have no doubt that some PPL buy this unit and are disappointed because they haven't set it up properly.
Everything as advertised and so much more. Playing a James Tyler Variax with the POD, you never run out of options. Once I figured out the procedure, I can change guitar, tuning, preamp and amp onto ONE button for instant changes. I am using a Fender Blues Jr III so I only program the preamp and pedals. When I get the last 1/3 of the dream rig I will learn more.
It's a hit!
Having repurposed my POD xtLive, I have to say this new model has truly raised the bar. The key feature I enjoyed most is the fact that the presets that come with the unit are very usable without having to tweak volumes etc. All I have done is reorganize them for my use. It truly has been a plug and play experience for me.
Another feature is the expansive way you can build your sound. With the eight options you can select for each preset you design, four are accessible via the upper set of footswitches. The other four are set to run without the ability to turn on or off. But, I use them to slot my EQs, Compressors, etc. The pedals can add an extra footswitch to the mix if you choose to use the wah or other expressions within the pedal.
Another feature I like is the smart harmonizer. I have my set up for a minor third and several using different keys.
The GUI interface is very nicely laid out as well. Very easy to understand and build your own models with. It is still the preferred method for me although the screen on the unit is larger than the PODxLive and has better back lighting as well.
absolutely the best modeler and effects processor for the money
I have always been old-school and thought you had to play through an amp on stage, but I realized I was limiting my sound possibilities and my pedal board was getting out of control... so, I finally made the leap to an amp/cabinet modeler and I think the Line 6 POD HD500X is the best one on the market, especially for the price tag. It gives you the ability to model a ton of different amp types, and the effects processor has everything you could ever want. You can control everything and also run dual signal paths and/or stereo outputs. You have the ability move effects in the signal path and assign them to footswitches, but the best part is that you can organize different presets into banks, name them whatever you want, and it really helps keep everything organized and easy to switch between. I'm a pro guitarist and in the band I play in, I need a lot of different sounds. The Line 6 does everything I need and keeps my stage setup really simple. I send one output to a clean channel amp on stage, and one output straight to the board. I even setup presets for my electric-acoustic so I only have to worry about one input, which I also use a Line 6 wireless system for. All in all, this system does everything you could need. I found it very intuitive and it didn't take long to program and assign all my sounds... but I'm adding new sounds all the time. This one is actually my second one. I bought one 6 months ago and decided to purchase a spare. That way I can leave one setup at our rehearsal space, and one at home (and have a spare at gigs). With the USB cable and the PC software (which makes programming very easy), I can keep both synced and identical. I also want to point out that Roadrunner makes a case that fits it perfectly, which is important if you're gigging regularly. If you are ready to make the leap to a good amp/effects modeler, the Line 6 is the one!
This is an incredible piece of equipment. There are endless possibilities for modeling sounds. I am amazed with what I have been able to accomplish in a short period of time. Thank you Sweetwater and Jason Koons and thank you LINE6 for making such a fine piece of equipment.
I love this pedal. My sales rep, Tim Harrington, recommended it and I am so thankful he did. For the first time ever, I'm completely satisfied with my sound going direct. And controlling sounds with my laptop makes programming a breeze - and I'm an old-school player. Thanks Line 6 & Sweetwater for putting great gear within reach of a player like me!
Couldn't ask for more!!!
I purchased this along with a JTV 69. Best decision I have made ever guitar+pedal wise. This can reproduce any sound i can think of and the computer connectivity makes things sooooo much easier. I did have one hang up when connecting to computer though. This will NOT work through a USB 3.0 port, it took me 3 hours of line6 monkeying around to discover this. I also play bass guitar and this works phenomenally for that also. Buy it now!!!
JTV + DT + POD HD500X = UNLIMITED CREATIVITY
Owning all three units provides endless hours of exploration and customization. I'm impressed with the quality of tones that I am able to achieve. This system demands a steep learning curve, but nothing that can't be mastered in time. One guitar, one effects unit, one amp equals 30 guitars, 30 boutique amps and every effect known to the human race! Blown away is an understatement. My only other wish is that I had the $$$ for an AMERICAN JTV!
Almost too many feautures
I am blown away, I have never run into an effects processor that can be so challenging but yet so satisfying once you have the tone dialed in that you wan't. The deep editing parameters for the cab and amplifier models add the final touches. Any sound, any time. The manuals are great but online resources are helpful as well. Very good youtube vids and a unique manual written by meambobbo.
Line 6 POD HD500X
I have never been a fan of digital processing for my guitar tone. I have always liked my boutique pedals and amps. However, recently our church has been doing some remodeling and there is no longer a room to mic our amps. I was skeptical to say the least when Anthony from sweetwater recommended this gem. I am blown away by the awesome sounds this thing can duplicate and it is a lot easier than carrying a big old pedal board, cabs, and tube heads in and out every time we play and/or practice. I would buy this processor in a heartbeat again.
Love the new Line 6 POD HD500X
It's everything I was hoping for and more. So easy to use, nice presets, and it just sounds so clean. It's is going to be used at every gig and rehearsal.
Never been a digital fan till now
Let me first start by saying that I come from a all tube background. Born and raised with Fender, Marshall, Bogner, Egnater and a few boutique amps here and there.
That being said let me also say that I am a full time gigging musician and play in a variety of different project ranging from full on hard rock to lounge jazz.. So I need something first of sounds good but most importantly is lightweight, sturdy, and overall awesome. This is it.
Like I said before I have never been a digital but if you are thinking about taking it easy on your back and having a system that is nothing but convenient, this my friends is for you.
Be warned though if you do buy this unit you should make all of your tones with the software not the board interface, you have way more options to shape your tone. The face is good for live gigs on the fly to make small adjustments but I highly recommend using the Line 6 software.
I hope you found this review helpful.
First off, the good... The sound quality is great. I've had mine for a week and the possibilities are absolutely endless. If you're only using this to go guitar>hd500>front of your amp, you're selling yourself short and should probably be using a much lower-tier processor. If you're not familiary with the 4-Cable Method, you need to stop what you're doing and look up the line 6 videos on it immediately! This expands your capabilities 10 fold with this pedal!
The sound is crystal clear, I would even say it shimmers. You're absolutely open to virtually any sound from any amp, effect, microphone or guitar (if you're rocking a variax, like me). The ease of use is rough... It most definitely has a learning curve, but for quality gear, this is a small price to pay! Most of my praise comes from the 4 cable method, which allows you to basically split this pedal in two. What I mean is, it allows you to send some of the processing to your amp's preamp and some of it straight to the power amp. The pros spend dozens of thousands of dollars being able to replicate what this pedal does for $500. To elaborate: Wahs, compressors and distortions/stomps always sound best in the "pre" portion of the signal chain (before your amps preamp), but effects such as flangers, reverbs, choruses, tremolos, etc. sound best in the "post" portion of the signal chain (after the preamp and just before the power amp). The 4-cable method allows you to do that and it makes your sound so professional. Another capability you have with this pedal using the 4-cable method is bypassing your amp's preamp completely and using a modeled amp by going straight to your power amp. Again, you need to watch videos from Line 6 on the 4-cable method in order to understand this. It is complex, but it is PROFESSIONAL!
Build: This thing is built rock solid. Line 6 always builds solid gear. I still have my Line 6 Pod XT Live, it's about 6 years old, and it works like a charm. The display is bright and crisp, also customizable between three different displays, and the LED rings surrounding the floor buttons gives it a great appearance. It looks professional, sounds professional and is built professional.
I rated 4/5 on the "wow" factor because there are still better units out there (at 3-5 times the price, though), so there are better possibilities for modeling/effects, but you. will. not. beat. this. product. for 500.
Customer support: Line 6 has a very expansive forum in the Community section. In this forum, you'll find not only well-versed and experienced long-term users of line 6, but actual Line 6 employees answering questions in these forums. I've never had to call them or email them, but then again, that's because of a great forum.
The bad: You cannot copy a specific effect and transfer it to another patch. This is tedious because you have individually program every patches effects from scratch. Also, the learning curve. It is very difficult to grasp this pedal, especially if it's your first effects processor. I owned the Line 6 POD XT Live before this, and albeit similar in many ways, I'm still struggling to keep up.
Bottom line: It's a learning experience. You have 30 days from the time you buy this to return it, so what have you got to lose? I promise you won't want to return it if you're willing to put in the effort and time to learn this pedal's capabilities. I'm satisfied.
Line 6 HD500X
This is a very versatile modeling multi-effects pedal. It is replacing my old Digitech GNX4, which I still use but wanted to move on to some newer technology. So far I am very pleased with the features and sound quality. The rugged build is also well appreciated. I have used these multi-effects units primarily for church worship groups but use tube amps for live gigs outside of church. I find that the HD500X is well suited for the needs of a worship team guitarist providing a fantastic array of amp models and effects. Hats off to Charlie Davis my sales engineer for his great support in all of my transactions.
This is a heavy duty board. Road ready for sure, in fact one of my gripes about it is that it doesn't have a power switch. Of course, if you're on stage you don't really want a power button I guess, but for use at home it is a bit annoying to have to unplug it to turn it off.
The expression pedal can be used to control multiple effect parameters at once, which is a great thing to experiment with. You can adjust the depth of any of the effect parameters that the pedal controls, and even invert the direction of the value change to go from highest to lowest instead of lowest to highest.
I can see why some people have a hard time getting a good sound out of this, because there's so many variables to consider and many other pedal boards avoid this by being more restrictive. So while it comes with plenty of presets, its not going to be as fast to explore as the BOSS pedal board. Any effect can be placed in any order before or after the amp modeller, and then of course there's the stereo aspect.
If you want to go beyond the presets, be ready to spend some time tinkering with this thing. Each style of effect has multiple varieties, and each variety has its own parameters, so you could be tweaking settings ad infinitum.
One other nice thing about the board is that if you use an amp/cabinet that doesn't have a "quiet but still audible" range on the volume dial, you can actually play at low volume but get the same sound by controlling the volume settings on the board.
The Line 6 POD HD500X
It really is very versatile, and great to use in church going direct to mains, you can use house monitors, the only issue I have had is when setting patches getting the overall sound volume to match for the different patches, the more fx you use for each patch the volume it draws so each patch needs to be set in the venue you will play to get them equal, I usually set at home then at church they can get lost in the mix or can be over bearing in the mix .
Mesa Boogie is collecting dust
I spent five hours updating this unit and reading the directions and tinkering around with it before I even plugged my guitar in and set up a patch basically identical to what I have been using with my XT but used a few different compressors and EQ's have to admit I am pleasantly surprised.
I was really skeptical as to whether they even upgraded from the XT but it's clearly evident that they have.
Not only did Line 6 include the amp models, but also the pre-amp models as well so with dual signal chains the possibilities are endless!!!
I maxed out the DSP trying a dual amp setup with as many FX as I could add but honestly I doubt I'd need all that stuff in my signal chain I just think Line 6 should have fixed that issue I thought they had.
Regardless there was plenty of room to add sufficient FX.
Everything I wanted is in there (multiple EQ's, compressors, wah and a bunch of great effects)
I recorded last night using the pedal as my interface instead of running into that and was disappointed I had to convert my Sonar project to 24-48 because I was recording at 24-96. If I had just ran out of the unit with a cable I could have kept the sampling rate the same but I wanted to hook it up to my computer for deep editing the 500x.
The payoff was awesome though.. at the end of the recording session I ended up with a perfect guitar track that needed no further EQ, filters or multiband to sound superb.
I stared at my computer thinking "this is going to take a lot of work out of it" and realized I was smiling out loud.
Even if I decide eventually to get something else I don't think I will be getting rid of the 500 X.
I am planning on using this for our next CD and think it will do the job just fine.
Thanks to Mark Magdich and everyone at Sweetwater for your patience & help!
Versatile Awesome Sound
It's almost too much stuff but once you take the time to digest the options it comes together. As a relative novice, I probably need to play with it more than more experienced musicians do but I was still able to figure it out. Using the USB connection to my laptop really helped. I still struggle some with importing others' settings from websites.
Sounds pretty awesome to me!!!
OK, so I am still a neophyte as far as guitar amps go, but this thing has very realistic tone, feel, and response, I have difficulty telling this from an actual guitar amp. It sounds awesome when properly set up.
Speaking of setting up, the patches are not great at all. You need to tweak your own tones. Having said that, the software is fairly intuitive and contains a plethora of tone choices.
I also am happy to report that you can use this with your tube amp using the "four-cable method". you just need to make sure to turn off the cab simulation when you do so. It sounded amazing through my Bogner Alchemist(I used a combo amp, though you could use a power amp and cab).
To summarize, this thing has great tone in a light and flexible package that I hope to enjoy for quite some time.
Great Tones, Great Effects, Great Build Quality
I've been using mutieffects processors for 7 years now, and the HD500x takes the cake! It has the most realistic tones I've ever heard and the pedal board style lay out allows you to have every effect in the chain ready at the touch of a foot. By far the best investment I've made in a long while.
great with tweaking
Out of the box it is expected (just like every other make and model) unusable patches. It's more of a showcase for all of the crazy over the top stuff as to say "look what I can do" After spending some time with the 500x, and using customtone, I have gotten some amazing tones coming out. I have used about every amp/pedals/ multi unit in my 25+ years of performing. Including the original ax sys 212 for 10 years. The 500x has some great straight forward tone. Hint - learn how to use it, watch youtube clips for tricks and tips, use customtone on the Line 6 website. I am now amp-less on stage with earbuds, and loving it.
okay I play in 3 different bands and I hate dragging my fender amp for the country band the Vox AC30 for the Worship band and the 1/2 stack Marshall for the Metal band.....so this thing is a dream....I have been using a XT Live for years but it is old. This thing sounds great and is easy to drag around. one note....you need to spend time to learn it, it is not easy but if you are a gear geek you will pick it up. Lots of settings use the internet to find tips and tricks...or buy some patches already made, I did and I was rocking right out of the box. Oh and going direct into computer is awesome with this thing, the sounds are great clear and clean.....only draw back is the factor pre-sets are not good but you can tweak them and get what you need...plus is you can use 2 different amps on one patch ....also just turning it on and plugging in some headphones...the sounds are just huge! I also ran this into a 100 watt tube power amp in stereo and 2- 4x12 cabs and ah yeah it rocks! A little noise at times but you need to learn how to use the noise gate without choking your tone....work at it and you will love it!
Best Bang For Buck
This unit replaces an HD500 which I sold to a friend. While no unit is perfect (including this one), the quality of the amp modeling is very good to excellent and I've received numerous compliments on my guitar tone. The brighter LCD and LEDs are a nice addition but the upgraded DSP has allowed me to build some pretty nice sounding patches. I would not hesitate to recommend.
4.5 stars: I played an outoor gig a couple of weeks ago. The LCD and LEDs are not friendly under direct sunlight. Makes it VERY tough to see the current patch.
Just about limitless options
I own both the POD hd500x and a digitech rp500... both are very similar in design and function but I just feel the quality of sounds from the POD are better. I was never a huge fan of the rp500's overdrives, I used it more as a pedal board for live situations.. although I will say the rp500 did shine in clean and modulation effects.. the POD hd500x also shines with clean and many more (useful) modulation effects. The overdrives are much more convincing to my ears and when used to push a tube combo I am throughly impressed. My only complaint is the price tag, I purchased my rp500 new in 2009 for 300 this was $ and I'm not totally convinced it's worth more $ that's why I gave 4 stars.. For $ you can by a used half stack if your a touring musician... and for $ you could buy a rp500 and some powered studio monitors woth the savings.
I really like this pedal because it has a bunch of great effects and it sounds great.
Not too bad I suppose (for line 6 of course hehe)
well i have literally used almost every f/x processor, pedals, you name it i've tried it. My mesa boogie can hold its own however it needs a little more drive to it and some other stuff as well. That being said I found that adding my effects chain to my amp caused horrible noise that not even the MXR smart gate could remedy. Bottom line ....pedals had to go. So I ventured into the world of mult-fx processors. And let me tell you there are some bad ones. There are some good ones. The Boss ME-80 is one spectacular one. And as a matter of fact, I am torn between this line 6 which granted I'm the dumbest guy I know so I can't figure it out very well :) however it packs a punch. I just hated reading manuals. Anyway the ME-80 is surely a good pick. But I'm thinking Line 6 is half way decent as well. If you are searching go through ME-25, ME-80, Line 6 Pod HD500X processor. stay away from digitech too phony sounding to me and i've been playing for 25 years. anyway, This review is more of a synopsis of my experience with f/x processors and I am not sure If I will keep the line 6 500X but its a good one. I just lack the cognitive abilities to work the darn thing! Anyhow I recommend staying away from pedals - too noisy, too expensive, oh yeah they are a load of fun but do you really want two dozen pedals while you are on stage? You couldn't play worth a darn. Seriously ditch the pedals go with this Line 6 or the Boss ME-80 either one will do.
I purchased this pedal for my guitar player at church and it seems to be doing a great job. Great sounds, somewhat easy to use once you get to know it, and pretty solid construction. I am considering one for myself if all goes well.
HD500X sounds great!
I had two HD500s (one at church, one for band) and I love the sounds. When I found out I could get more memory in this model, I jumped on it!
The extra memory makes a big difference. I was able to add FX to my existing HD500 presets that required an extra patch location previously. Keep in mind that the NUMBER of slots for effects does NOT increase, so you won't be able to add effects to an existing HD500 preset unless you have an available FX slot.
I had an issue with the first one that I received, the USB port was apparently defective. Sweetwater sent a replacement and paid for return shipping. You can't beat their service! The replacement worked perfectly and I am happy now!
You can use your HD500 presets in the HD500X by loading them via the edit software but you will have to change the extension of the old file (rename it).
More Memory = More Options
Recently upgraded after using the HD500 for a few years now. I held out for a while hoping that Line 6 continue to upgrade the HD500 until I realized they weren't offering the latest model packs to it. So, I caved and got the 500x and am pleased overall. Liking the larger processor, it allows you to use a lot of combinations of amps and effects without running out of room. However, they're aren't any more "slots" to add effects (still 8). The other thing I've noticed is that, at least to me, the wah pedals sound better. Especially with higher notes, not perfect but better. A gripe I have with Line 6 is that you can't get anyone to talk to you there. The contact page on their website gives you an "HTTP" error when try to get their phone #. Yes, there's a lot of support pages that cover many issues, but sometimes you need to speak to a real person. That's one reason why I buy my gear here. Thank you Sweetwater.
no good for me
I'm giving this 3 stars instead of zero because I know a couple of people using earlier versions of this pedal, and it can produce some pretty cool tones. personally, I just want to plug in to my amp and let it rip.I wanted to set this pedal up exactly how I wanted, but couldn't figure it out. Don't have the time. So if you have the time, this would more than likely take the place of your pedals and amps for live stuff. I have a mesa rectoverb, this pedal doesn't come anywhere near the tone of my amp. But... it does pretty good "fake" amp sounds, and I mean that in a good way. For the many of reviewers on here that swear by this pedal... you probably had the time and patience needed
Nice for a multi effects
I attempted to see how good this unit was. I can't compare it to the hd500 but I have owned a boss /zoom & Vox multi effects. I tried the hd500x into a combo amp and direct into krk8's to really see(hear) what this could do.
To keep this short I will summarize the strength and weaknesses. This is only my opinion for what it's worth. Take into account any preset needs some tweaking especially to adjust volume. Why can't someone make a pedal that can keep all preset volume even so you can get from clean to dirty without blowing out your eardrums?
Direct to Combo: (yes your amp still sounds like your amp so just think of it like an EQ and effects)
*Excellent for multi effects as pedals. Great to have the options at your feet to turn on and off stomps/ distortion and mod delay effects.
*Easy to set up and manipulate.
*You can bypass the amp modeling
*Placement of effects where you want them in the chain for unique sound.
*There are limits to how many effects you can use in a preset. So you limited to what you can use.
*All Wahs need serious adjustment and are way too bright.
*Should have an option to wire this through the effects loop like the Digitech RP1000 so you can keep effects where they sound best either before or in an effects loop. See the wiring on the RP1000 if you don't know what I am referring too.
Direct to Monitors:
The Good & the Bad.
Most amp models sound great. Does it sound like the original. Pretty good. However who can play through a pair of studio monitors. I found myself turning it up louder to match that of a combo. My ears rang for a couple of hours. So I don't recommend this method.
Did it bring the absolute best out. Definitely! Bit the Wahs really still sound shrill.
Use through a PA live might prove very useful. Especially if you play a variety of music. Was it easy to use. Yes more so than any other pedal I have owned. Of course you have to spend some time setting it up first.
The bottom line. I sold it as it is not a replacement for pedals and a good tube combo. But for someone looking for multiple sounds in one package who plays live its worth a listen.
This pedal has caused me nothing but problems ever since I opened it. It is the most frustrating thing I have ever dealt with.
I bought this because I thought that it would have some good distortion pedals for playing classic rock. When I finally got to try it out, I scrolled through the presets and it was all useless. Sure they were cool, but I didn't spend $500 for a toy.